Web entrepreneurs race to tap into Aussie media and marketing community

The coming weeks will see a series of website launches aiming to create communities – and business models – tapping into the media, marketing and creative industry.  

First cab off what may shortly be a crowded rank is likely to be Mediascope, a media directory service, which fully launches in November although it is already asking for listings.

The work of former Fairfax and News Ltd employee Denise Shrivell, it aims to offer an online directory of niche media properties. She told Mumbrella: “My aim with MediaScope is to provide our industry with a useful, value for money resource which solves an ongoing problem for both advertisers and media – a problem I have experienced from both sides of the fence.”

The listings will be a mixture of paid and free.

mediacafeAlso imminent is Mediacafe, which is positioning itself as a place for media planners, buyers and sellers to communicate.

The work of executive Chris Muir, boss of Sydney agency Smoke Signals, Mediacafe promotes itself as “a one-stop shop for media planners, buyers and sellers to communicate more effectively”.

According to a holding page on the site, media planners and buyers will be able to “contribute news, views, function photos and gossip”, while media sellers will be able to upload media kits and case studies.

Muir told Mumbrella that the launch would happen late this year or early next. He said the site would include the services offered by Mediascope” and a shitload more”.

Both services wil provide a rival for the already existing free directory MediaBizNet, which has been around for a couple of years. Mumbrella also offers a free directory service.

Another site set to launch into the space next month is called The Loop. The brainchild of former MTV execs Matt Fayle and Pip Jamieson, it describes itself as “a platform allowing creatives to publish free media-rich professional profiles”. The team behind it say they have already agreed partnerships with agencies, schools and professional associations.

Meanwhile, the existing trade press players have been working on giving their users the ability to talk about stories and tweaking their discussion policies.

B&T added a Disqus-powered forum to its website about three months ago.

And AdNewseditor Matt Porter announced during his sponsor speech to the Media Federation Awards earlier this month that a soon-to-be relaunched AdNews website will also have comment functionality.

Meanwhile, earlier this year the Campaign Brief blog introduced a policy that it will usually censor negative comments about campaigns if its sister site BestAdsOnTV gets to showcase the ads first.

Owner Michael Lynch told Mumbrella: “This been the case since August this year – we feel that if it’s good enough to be accepted on Bestads and potentially award-winning in most cases, then the creative doesn’t deserve to be slagged off anonymously on the blogs.  However, if the subject of the ad is controversial – the latest TAC ‘The Ride’ for instance which pitted motorcyclists against the TAC and car owners – then it’s a free and open debate, anonymous or not.”

Lynch said he welcomed competition within the space. He said: “There could be room for more online launches, as long as they find a niche and can be advertiser funded, like the CB blogs and Bestads. In my experience, most people in the advertising world expect everything – like lunches – for free, including industry news and viewing new ads.”

Along with Mumbrella, other new players entering the market have included Media i, a year-old network of video screens placed inside many of Australia’s media agencies and operated by the team behind office screen network Executive Channel.

And earlier this year, online research firm Pure Profile said that it was recruiting what it intended to be the largest community of marketing, media and advertising professionals in Australia with a third of a million dollar investment.


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